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Why Employers Should Allow their Employees to Participate in Fantasy Football


September is finally here and that means pumpkin spice flavored everything, sweatshirt weather, and, most importantly, football season.  The 2015 NFL season kickoff is just a little over a week away and millions of people are scouting players and preparing for their upcoming fantasy football league drafts.  Some people may even spend some of their work day researching players and, once the season starts, adjusting their lineups and making trades ahead of the week’s games.  Many employers believe fantasy football causes their employees to be unproductive and they feel as if they cannot afford for their employees to be distracted by fantasy football for seventeen weeks out of the year, especially if they are franchise or small business owners.  However, implementing an outright ban on employee participation in fantasy football leagues could be a detriment to employee morale and lead some employees to try to work around the policy, forcing managers to spend more of their time trying to enforce the ban, and ultimately causing them to be even less productive.  Instead, employers should inform employees of its expectations and policy regarding fantasy football in the work place, reiterate that employees are still expected to adequately and sufficiently fulfill their duties, and outline the process that will be followed if employees are not meeting those expectations or violate the policy.  Allowing employees to participate in fantasy football can provide many benefits to the work place, such as camaraderie, company pride, increased communication, and an opportunity for employees to recharge during the work day.  It is possible for employees to adequately fulfill their duties, complete their work, and engage in fantasy football activities with their co-workers and friends; however, there is no one right answer to the issue of fantasy football in the workplace and only you can assess what policy makes the most sense for your business or franchise.